Bruce Reynolds Dead, Great Train Robber Dies Aged 81 (PICTURES)

Bruce Reynolds, the man who masterminded the Great Train Robbery of 1963 has died aged 81 after a spell of ill health.

The Great Train Robbery saw the gang make off with a staggering £2.6million - which in 2012 would be worth around £40million.

Reynolds spent five years on the run but eventually jailed for 25 years. He was released in 1979 and went on to pen The Autobiography of a Thief.

Bruce Reynolds, leader of the Great Train Robbery gang, pictures outside court in 1968

The gang targeted a Royal Mail train from Glasgow that carried letters, packages and huge quantities of cash.

They forced it to stop in Buckinghamshire in the early hours of the morning of Thursday 8 August by tampering with a signal and making it show red.

The crooks then stormed the train by force and unloaded the money in just 25 minutes onto a truck at a nearby station, having moved the train further down the line.

The Glasgow-London Royal mail train, which was attacked in the night by 15 armed robbers

Gang member James Hussey admitted on his deathbed last year that it was him who struck train driver Jack Mills, then 57, according to a report in The Sun.

Mills died seven years after the attack and it is believed the head injury he sustained contributed to his death.

Until then it was thought one of the three robbers who escaped prosecution - or Ronald "Buster" Edwards who had hit Mills.

Biggs, who fled the UK, in Brazil in 1980

Most of the gang were caught and given long jail terms but Ronnie Biggs escaped from Wandsworth prison in 1965 and fled abroad, living on the run for 36 years.

He returned to the UK in search of medical care in 2001 and was released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds.

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Bruce Reynolds The Great Train Robber dies

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